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The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay Review

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I really enjoyed the first (reviewed here) and second (reviewed here) books in the Linwood Barclay Promise Falls’ Trilogy, so of course I had to get my hands on the latest, and final book, as soon as it was released. The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay picks up begins on May 23rd, the date that the previous two books have been counting down to. There’s been a lot of tension and build up over what might happen on that day, and it begins with hundreds of people going to the hospital, vomiting, dizzy, and even dying. By who is poisoning the town? And why? At the same time, Detective Barry Duckworth discovers that the killer responsible for two previous murders has acted again. As the body count continues to grow, it’s time to finally solve the puzzle of 23.

Barclay’s latest novel is as well-written as the previous ones I’ve read and the pacing, helped along by short chapters and of course the excitement of a finale, is excellent. There’s so much intensity in this book but it’s never confusing what’s going on. By this point in the trilogy, there are quite a few main characters, but they are all easy to remember and keep separate, although I do recommend reading the books as closely together as possible. You could read this book on its own, but it’s definitely most satisfying as the conclusion to an excellent trilogy. There are a few loose ends, but not enough that that I expect another book, but you never know.

He might not be for everyone, but I really enjoy the lead Detective in this series, Barry, who is overweight and always struggling to not eat that donuts–yup, a bit of a stereotype there–but always trying to do the right thing. I found I spent most of The Twenty-Three routing for everyone to have a happy ending, not knowing, until almost the end, who the bad guys really were. It was very enjoyable to see all the pieces finally come together and Linwood did not disappoint!

I read The Twenty-Three while I was traveling to Mexico earlier this month and I devoured the whole while on the really long flights there. If you’ve got some time off over the holidays I definitely recommend picking up the Promise Falls Trilogy by Linwood Barclay for a read so satisfying you can almost forget you have to go to work next week.

Have you read any really good thrillers lately? I just started reading another really good one over this long weekend, so expect to see a review on the blog soon!

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